Side Event at UNHRC: Digital Access, Shutdowns and Surveillance

Side Event at UNHRC: Digital Access, Shutdowns and Surveillance - Digital

Digital access, shutdowns, and surveillance

Private actors and respect for free expression

A side event at the 35th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

14 June, 2017, 12:00 – 13:30

Room XXIV, Palais des Nations

One year after the UN Human Rights Council condemned “measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to, or dissemination of information online”, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, has warned that threats to digital expression are “more pronounced than ever”.

In his report to the 35th HRC Session, the Special Rapporteur documents how States continue to take such measures – often by means of pressuring private actors – to control, censor and monitor what we can see and share online, whether to frustrate access to information during election campaigns or to provide a shield of secrecy for violent crackdowns on protests.

ARTICLE 19, together with Special Rapporteur David Kaye, civil society partners and the Permanent Missions of Sweden, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Mexico and Liechtenstein, invite you to discuss:

  • Who gets hurt when governments shut down the Internet?
  • What responsibilities do private actors have to resist government censorship and surveillance, and ensure a free and open Internet?
  • What more must the HRC do before it can be regarded as a champion of digital rights?

ARTICLE 19’s new policy, Getting Connected: Freedom of Expression, telcos and ISPs, will be launched at the event.


David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression

Gayatri Khandhadai, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

Julie Owono, Executive Director, Internet Without Borders

Laura Okkonen, Head of Human Rights, Nokia; Chair of the Industry Dialogue

Patrik Hiselius, Senior Adviser on Digital Rights, Telia Company; GNI Board Member


Thomas HughesExecutive Director, ARTICLE 19